Research Article

An adipo-biliary-uridine axis that regulates energy homeostasis

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Science  17 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6330, eaaf5375
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf5375

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Uridine's rise and fall: Food for thought

The nucleoside uridine is well known for its role in critical cellular functions such as nucleic acid synthesis. Its role in whole-animal physiology has received comparatively little attention. In mammals, plasma uridine levels are tightly regulated, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Studying mouse models, Deng et al. show that plasma uridine levels are controlled by feeding behavior (see the Perspective by Jastroch and Tschöp). Fasting causes an adipocyte-mediated rise in plasma uridine, which triggers a lowering of body temperature. Feeding causes a bile-mediated drop in plasma uridine, which enhances insulin sensitivity in a leptin-dependent manner. Thus, uridine is part of a complex regulatory loop that affects energy balance and potentially contributes to metabolic disease.

Science, this issue p. aaf5375; see also p. 1124